Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Should I Tweet?

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on June 17, 2013

“You should tweet,” a colleague tells me. “Why?” I ask. “People wonder what you think,” she says. Do I want to be an internet personality? I ask myself. What is the difference between my blog and tweeting? Yes, I know that tweeting is “microblogging” and so they are different beasts, but do I have something to say in a limited number of characters? I suppose I could try tweeting and see what happens. I did not think I would post four days a week, but as it turns out. I do. I often do not know what I want to say until I sit down and say it. Before I started blogging, I could not imagine the pleasure in having a forum in which I could express ideas which have buzzed around in my head for over two decades. Indeed, there is often a sense of relief after I post. I have written something that I have wanted to express for so many years, but I had no audience. Now, the thought of my audience inspires me to discharge thoughts, agonies and concerns regarding the state of psychiatry, medicine, and psychoanalysis. So, how does tweeting add-on to this mission? I could comment on mental health tragedies that hit the news. I would enjoy that. My mind thinks in tweets, so I like the limitation in characters. On the other hand, would this blog suffer if I added tweeting to my working life? Maybe. I am surprised how much energy goes into posting, such that tweeting would also be consuming, despite the brief nature of the result. As we all know, it sometimes takes longer to be brief. Then, there is the issue of my narcissism. How will I feel if I have few followers? Do I want to subject myself to unpopularity? I think I can handle that. This blog has taught me that there is pleasure in writing, even if only one person reads it. As a person who came of age before the internet, few followers still amaze me, so my bar is low. Have I reached a conclusion? Nope. It is summer and so I will give myself time to contemplate.

8 Responses to “Should I Tweet?”

  1. Jon said

    Should you tweet?

    Perhaps, but I would argue against it. While there can be much creativity in that haiku like form of communication, the imposed constraints may limit the desired meandering of the mind that this blog has allowed. As you have noted, it takes longer to be brief. The acerbic physicist Wolfgang Pauli famously once announced that he had no time to be brief. In fact, No Time to Be Brief became the title to a biography of his. Going further down the declivitous slope of humor, the guitarist Laurence Juber has stated that YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are merging to become – wait for it – YouTwitFace.

    • Thanks, Jon. I am not sure that tweeting would be instead of blogging, but rather a conduit to this blog. I could tweet teasers to these posts to inspire more traffic, or so the logic goes.

      I agree that your final punch was worth the wait…I needed to prepare…

  2. Shelly said

    I also think your colleagues who tweet could point to your blog as well. Tweeting will allow you to steer your readers to articles which you find fascinating or drive home a point that you wish to make on your blog. I am for your tweeting, as you know.

  3. Ashana M said

    If you’re good at pithy sound bites, you should tweet. I know writers who use Twitter and Facebook to make themselves seem so interesting that you want to check out their work. After all, if I as a reader like someone’s 100 words, I will probably like 1000. It works for those writers because they are good at that. Not everyone is. If you think in tweets, that’s perhaps a good sign.

    But if it’s just a venue to advertise your blog, then I’d say steer clear. People tune that out very quickly–there is so much other noise, you are quickly drowned out.

    Just my 2 cents.

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